Mankato, Minn. – Nick Belzer started the first game of the season for the MoonDogs and pitched six innings while only giving up one run, and struck out four. Duluth’s starting pitcher, Zac Shoemaker, pitched four innings and only allowed one run with three walks, and five strikeouts.
MoonDogs’ leadoff hitter, Nick Novak started the bats out hot for the team after he hit a double down the left field line in the top of the first inning. Novak eventually scored after Blaze Glenn hit a grounder up the middle later in the inning.
First baseman, Hunter Bigge, got the Huskies’ bats going by leading off the inning with a double down the right-field line. Omar Veloz eventually drove in Bigge with a two-out single.
During Logan VanWey’s second inning of work for the Huskies, MoonDogs’ catcher, Evan Klugerman hit a double off of the right-field wall and scored left fielder Josh Elvir for the MoonDogs’ second run of the game.
Mankato led off the eighth inning with a pair of walks from Elvir and Klugerman, then later scored on a wild pitch to the backstop. Right fielder, Roger Danison hit a single and then scored after Novak hit a sacrifice fly.
In the seventh inning, Mankato brought in another MSU Maverick, Jon Ludwig, who pitched a three-inning save to secure a MoonDogs victory. Ludwig picked up five strikeouts in his three innings of work and only surrendered one hit and one walk.
First pitch will be 7:05 pm for game two between the MoonDogs and the Huskies tomorrow at Franklin Rogers Park.